Thursday, April 14, 2011

I double dog dare you......

Years ago, at the beginning of my conscious journey to self awareness someone told me that all of the things that we either admire or despise in another person are qualities we hold within ourselves.

The positive characteristics are easy to accept as being part of us.  But, the negative ones? 


Couldn't be!  Could it?

Could I really be as annoying as the driver ahead of me that thinks his brake pedal is his gas pedal?  Could I really be as frustrated as the check out girl or angry as the woman who constantly complains about every little thing in her life?

The answer is YES!

This might be the hardest lesson I have had to learn on this journey (and I am STILL learning it!)

Yesterday I picked up an issue of O Magazine and in it was an article written by Martha Beck.

She talked about this issue of "mirroring".  And how she found it profoundly effective to take the thoughts she had in her head about how useless and pathetic other people in her life were and write a letter to these people letting them know just how she felt....

She didn't send them though...

And that's where I thought the article stopped.  Be honest, how many of us would LOVE to do that?!?!  Go totally ape nuts in a letter to someone so that they know just how perfect we are and how imperfect they are!

I am of course being a little sarcastic here and so was Martha Beck.  She made the article appear that, that was the end of the solution.  However, when you turned the page you understood that she was just about to drive her point home.

She didn't send the letters out to the people they were intended for.  Instead, she went to the top of the page, scribbled out the name of the recipient and instead wrote her own name in it's place.

She reread the letters as if she were the one receiving it.

Can you imagine how profound this exercise would be?

I have done similar techniques, like Byron Katie's "The Work".  Also, very useful and profound.

Each time I have a conversation going on in my head about what I think someone else needs to be doing with their lives, if I take the time to give that same information to myself, I realize that it is truer for me than it is for someone else.  That the exact "advice" I am wanting to spew to my friend, is the exact advice I need for me. 

This activity is an extremely humbling experience, I cannot help to look at everyone I encounter as someone who is struggling to survive and grow just as I am.

I've gotten away from taking part regularly in this exercise and the article in the magazine reminded me that this is indeed something that needs to be a regular activity in my day to keep myself real and responsible.

I double dog dare you to give this a try (yes I'm pulling out the double dog dare!).  The next time you hear yourself saying "he should or she should", go ahead and write it down, change the name on the letter and then reread it to yourself.

You'll be in good company, I'll be doing the same.


  1. Awesome reminder Jenn, this one couldn't have better timing for me. I had one of those days today... thank you!

  2. Excellent challenge Jenn. I will be happy to participate.

  3. It was a great article to read. I love when I read about something that can radically change my point of view in such a small amount of time! Awesome! Thank you girls for your comments, they mean the world to me!


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